Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 19: Ponte di Legno – Val Martello 139km. Impromptu Rest Day

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Saturday morning, 07:30 and the sunshine streams into our room in Merano.

Yesterday we looked out on teeming rain; and a little later, as we drove towards the start the email arrived to inform us that the stage was cancelled.

It wasn’t a big surprise, up on the valley walls the trees were coated with snow and the spikey peaks were pure ‘winter wonderland.’

Rest Day
Conditions in the high mountains meant the stage couldn’t be held.
Rest Day
There’s a lot of snow up there.

It was park up and think of ‘Plan B’ time.

A quick look at the Gazzetta over a cappuccino had Vincenzo in his pomp dominating the front page; it’s always good to take a stage victory en route your Grand Tour win.

Rest Day
The paper runs with “Italy’s Nibali” as the headline.

We had an invite to the Castelli factory, but they had a big sales meeting taking place, so that was a non starter.

‘Plan C’ – contact press officers for interviews, Astana and BMC with both said, ‘no problem.’

However there’s the matter of finding their hotels (tricky when you’re given the wrong name) and then finding a time to suit the riders who have to go for a pedal, nap and food on what was in effect an impromptu rest day.

Rest Day
We plan to catch up with Adam Blythe (centre), here with Steve Cummings (r) and teammates.

It was 16:30 when we arrived at the BMC team hotel – and when the team hits town, you know about it.

Rest Day
All the teams are beautifully presented, but BMC take it a step further.

A fleet of immaculate vehicles dominates the street with cars not just washed but chamoised dry; I’ve seen plenty of team vehicles washed – but never chamoised.

Rest Day
As we crossed the street, Sky hurtled past – looking very impressive.

Cuddles bike was on the turbo – after his ‘giornato no’ in the mountain time trial I’m guessing he’d be more than happy not to ride the Stelvio.